Facebook and Twitter


and follow my blog on Twitter @pharmacynic to receive notifications on new posts.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's Not Open For Discussion

There are truths. There are facts. There are laws. 
When it comes to these things, there can be no debate about their existence or validity. 
And yet...

CP: CP's pharmacy where we obey all the laws. How may I help you? 
Nurse Is Not Nice Yet: I'm calling in a prescription. 
CP: Phantastic. Let er rip. 
NINNY: <completes verbal assault on my ears> Anything else? 
CP: Yes. You said the prescriber is a CNP. 
NINNY: Sorry. She's a PA. 
CP: Okay. I just need her CTP#. 
NINNY: I have her DEA#. 
CP: Which is neither spelled nor pronounced CTP#. Try again. 
NINNY: NPI#. 
CP: It's her Certificate To Prescribe Number; hence CTP#. 
NINNY: I don't have it. I have always called in prescriptions this way and we have never had a problem with any other pharmacy...until you. 
CP: Phunny. When I've politely asked for information, I've never had a problem with an office providing it to me without drama...until you. 
NINNY: Well we don't have it. 
CP: In order to write a prescription, all non-doctor prescribers MUST have a CTP#. This number MUST appear on all written and electronic scripts and MUST be provided when phoning in the prescription. 
NINNY: I don't have it and we've never done it this way. 
CP: Would you like me to fax the State Law to you? 
NINNY: YES! <rattles off fax number>
CP: Then you will call back with the CTP# and an apology? 
NINNY: <Click> 

<15 minutes later> 
CP: You're a go for CP. 
NINNY: <politely> I have the CTP# you requested. 
CP: Thanks. Was that so hard? 
NINNY: <grumbles> 
CP: Sucks being wrong, huh? Next time, learn something instead of being a vicious twat. It's my job to know the laws I have to obey. Perhaps your office manager could use an update and send a memo. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Overreacting

CP: Ma'am, we are calling to let you know that your prescription is too soon to refill until 3 days from now.
Over Dramatic Dame: "I guess I'll have to go without, then."
CP: Are you completely out?
ODD: No. I have about a week left.
CP: Well this is due only 3 days from now.
ODD: Oh. Okay. Then I should be fine.
CP: Depends on your definition of fine...


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Train(wreck) of Thinking

The following conversation recently took place. 
There once was a girl from Albuquerque whose brother happened to live near me. This is their story. 

CP: Thanks for calling CP's Pharmacy where we dispense doses of reality. How may I help you? 
Someone Expecting A Lot: I was calling to see about paying for prescriptions over the phone. My brother lives up there and I wanted to pay using my credit card. 
CP: I must apologise, but we are not allowed to accept credit card payments over the phone. 
SEAL: Why the hell not?  
CP: Our mutual protection.
SEAL: If my brother walks in there with cash, can he pick it up? 
CP: Of course. Cash, amazingly enough, is like cash. It's rather universally accepted as a standard form of payment. Cash is always welcome.
SEAL: "So you're telling me if I drove all the way up there, walked in and paid cash, I couldn't pick it up?"
CP: Not sure where you live, but that's quite a leap in a logical train of thought. I simply said I couldn't take your credit card information over the phone. 
SEAL: But I have cash. 
CP: Which I can't take over the phone either. Not quite sure how you even expect that to work. 
SEAL: But I want to pay for it there so you can show my account as paid then he can pick it up at another store. 
CP: Wait. What? If I follow, you are telling me: You are hours away from me. Your brother lives near me. You want to pay me for something he is going to pick up at another location. And to speed the story along, the prescription is for your dad? 
SEAL: Yes. I don't see the problem. 
CP: Oh. That IS the problem. Have you tried that with Starbuck's? Maybe had your brother place an order in Des Moines, called the Starbuck's in Decatur to pay for it, then sent someone else to pick up the order in Detroit? 
SEAL: No, that's stupid. 
CP: Precisely. 
SEAL: We don't live there.
CP: <beats head into counter>

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Teaching Moment

Today we are going to learn what words mean. (or not...)

CP: Are you ready, class?
Practically Every Retrieval Person: YES!
CP: Okay. Repeat after me... "I..."
PERP: I...!
CP: State your name.
PERP: State your name.
CP: <whispers, "too easy"> ...do solemnly swear...
PERP: ...do solemnly swear...
CP: ...that I will repeat and understand...
PERP: ...that I will repeat and understand...
CP: ...everything Professor CP teaches today.
PERP: ...everything Professor CP teaches today.
CP: Good.
PERP: Good.
CP: Here we go.
PERP: Here we go.
CP: Your insurance will NOT pay for your prescription today.
PERP: You are refusing to fill my prescription today.
CP: Wait. Back up. Stay with me here. Your insurance...
PERP: My insurance...
CP: ...Won't pay...
PERP: ...Says you won't fill...
CP: ...Your prescription...
PERP: ...My prescription...
CP: ...Without a prior authorization.
PERP: ...Because you're an asshole.
CP: I would be all too happy...
PERP: You are all too happy...
CP: ...to charge you cash and take your money...
PERP: ...to take my money and refuse to fill my necessary medication...
CP: ...but your insurance will not pay for it.
PERP: ...and blame my insurance for not covering it.
CP: You should go somewhere else.
PERP: I'm going somewhere else that knows how to bill my insurance.
CP: See you tomorrow.
PERP: See you tomorrow.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I Can't Answer...

...Anything that starts with:
1. Why did my doctor...?
2. When will my doctor...?
3. When will the insurance...?
4. Is it cheaper at...?
5. Does another pharmacy...?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Subliminal Utterings

Ever have one of those great moments when your lousy day improves remarkably because of one little interaction?
Me neither. But this helped.

CP: <entering prescriptions at drop off> Do you have your insurance card? 
Drug Using Mama's Boy: Yes. 
CP: Thanks. <enters information, clicks on the wrong screen and whispers...> Dummy. 
DUMB: <acting insulted> Excuse ME?
CP: Sorry? 
DUMB: Did you just call me a dummy? 
CP: What? No. Sorry. I said "Dumb Me". I clicked on the wrong thing. 
DUMB: Oh. Okay. 
CP: <Whispers as he walks away> Dummy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Answers Are Hard

I ask, you reply.
The more succinct the answer, the better.
The more accurate, the better.
However, just make sure the succinct answer is accurate.
Unlike this guy.

Too Short: I have this refill to drop off.
CP: When did you want to pick it up?
TS: She needs it. (actual response)

With such an open-ended answer, Super Intern and I decided we needed to work out our responses.

"She needs it..."
1. So, when?
2. I can see that from the empty bottle.
3. I'd love to give it to her, but she's your wife.
4. Okay. Go home and give it to her. By the time you finish and get back, the prescription will be ready.

See what happens when you don't say "I'd like to wait for it"?


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

If The Real World Worked...

These conversations must take place elsewhere.
They must. It's the only thought that keeps me sane.
Here is my vision after yesterday's all-too-typical conversation.

CP: Thank you for calling CP Pharmacy where all your dreams come true. How may I help you?
DUDE: You shorted me.
CP: <doesn't offer meaningless apology for something which may not be our fault> Let me research that for you.
DUDE: I was supposed to get 90 and you only gave me 30. You shorted me. It's quite obvious.
CP: Aaaaaand...Nope.
DUDE: Um, yep.
CP: How about nope? Your prescriber only wrote for 30 tablets.
DUDE: But I take 3 a day. That's only 10 days.
CP: With refills no less.
DUDE: But I should get 90.
CP: Why?
DUDE: Because I take 3 a day.
CP: Why not ask for 270? Why stop at 90? Maybe she only wanted you to receive 30 at a time.
DUDE: I still say you shorted me.
CP: Okay. Here's an experiment for you. Call your bank.Tell them they shorted you. Tell them you wanted a check for $20,000 but the one payroll direct deposited was only for $1,000 and you deserve more. Even though you have refills (one check per week for the term of your employment) you feel you deserve more. I'm sure they will call your employer's payroll department and get this little oversight remedied for you.